When the Washington Nationals dismissed outfielder Elijah Dukes, they opened up a gaping hole in their lineup. At present, they plan to fill right field with some combination of Willie Harris and Willy Tavares, which is oh-so-very Nationals-like. But they aren’t necessarily satisfied with the status quo, and have been discussing trade options, which includes discussions with the Chicago Cubs.

A club source said the Nationals have discussed a trade for right fielder Corey Hart with the Brewers, and talked to the Cubs about outfielder Kosuke Fukudome. They have even inquired about Rays outfielder B.J. Upton, though they came away feeling Tampa Bay wouldn’t part with the 24-year-old speedster unless it was out of the AL East race this summer.

But none of those talks have been particularly substantive; the Nationals and Brewers haven’t found common ground on a deal for Hart, who is making $4.8 million in his second year of arbitration. Fukudome, who has underperformed in Chicago since coming over from Japan, still has two years left on a deal that will pay him a combined $26.5 million this season and next year and offer him limited no-trade protection. Unless the Cubs were willing to eat a decent portion of the 32-year-old’s contract, it’s unlikely the Nationals would land him. MASNsports.com.

Even taking the money out of the equation – which would be a significant hurdle to actually making a deal – there are two huge problems with a Cubs/Nats Fukudome trade.

First, the Cubs would have to be confident that trading Fukudome doesn’t make them worse. And for that to happen, they’ll need to know that Xavier Nady is fully ready to go, and they’ll need to know that Tyler Colvin is a Major League caliber hitter. Neither is a certainty at this point.

Second, Fukudome has a no-trade clause, and the likelihood of him accepting a trade to Washington is, at a minimum, questionable.

  • Kevin G

    It has already been said the if the was an open spot in the Outfield Colvin would have won the job. Second if it is present to Fukudome that he could lose is job to Nady or Colvin with ease if he doesnt preform, and he has an starting job in Washington he may go. And you could always bring Fuld back up to back up the outfield. Moneywise I like this trade Fukudome and Baker for Cristian Guzman and a PTBNL. what do you thing Ace?

  • Butcher

    Fukudome may have underperformed so far, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t valuable. He still plays good defense and gets on base/sees a lot of pitches. I’m not sure I see a trade with the Nats that will make us better. I’d say trade him for Adam Dunn if I thought the rest of our OF were made up of gold-glovers.

  • KB

    Guzman? NFW
    Dunn? Now yer talkin’ my language.

    • Kevin G

      Where are we going to play Dunn? Guzman isnt a sexy pick but he fits. We would be able to back up Theriot and Fontento. Dont get me wrong I would love Dunn but, do you want him in RF? I want him in the Line up but, I dont know about RF. I would love Dunn but I think we have too many OFer now.